Leaf has announced a new medium format digital back with 80 megapixel sensor. The CCD measures 53.7x40.3mm, which is essentially the same as the Phase One P65+ (53.9x40.4mm), but with a 20 megapixel boost in resolution. (Leaf Imaging was recently acquired by Phase One.)
The Phase One P65+ 60MP back, widely regarded as the pinnacle of medium format digital capture, is known to put high demands on lens optical quality. So this new 80MP back should be an interesting challenge for lens makers. We, as photographers, must wrestle the balance between sensor resolution and our lenses’ abilities to resolve detail. Whether we’re upgrading from a Canon 5D or a Phase One P25+ (large pixel sensors), once we move to a higher resolution sensor (with smaller sensels or pixel sizes) we must consider whether our current selection of lenses can deliver the additional resolution. In other words, we need to know which is the limiting factor: the sensor or the lens. An obvious destination for this new back is use with a technical camera (or view camera), with digital view camera lenses from Rodendstock and Schneider.